Saturday, July 4, 2015

OLD GUYS RULE

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 86 Times of Clouds and Sun High 107) 

Subtitled: King of the Road

Bob's sister sent him this great t-shirt that she found while in Florida recently. Thanks go out to KB for this. Here is the front, 'old guys rule'.




Here is the back, 'king of the road'.




'King of the Road' enlarged.




Now we just have to find a t-shirt to donate because if something comes in something goes out.

A Happy 4th of July to all!!



Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, July 2, 2015

SAW 'SAN ANDREAS', 'ALOHA', AND 'JURASSIC WORLD'

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 84 Breezy High 106) 

With all the heat we have a lot of indoor activities. We recently saw 'San Andreas'.




Starring Dwayne Johnson as a rescue team leader this is an action packed disaster movie that we used to watch. The plot is that he is trying to save his wife and daughter from a series of major earthquakes along the San Andreas Fault. 

We really liked this movie and recommend it. Certainly not an Academy Award winner but incredible special effects and great acting by Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario and the always great Paul Giamatti. 'The Rock' has come a long way. A lot of movies with a lot of action the scenes can drag on and you are like, just kill the guy, but in this movie we never got that feeling.

Next we saw 'Aloha' starring Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone and the never disappointing Rachel McAdams among others..




Another not an Academy Award winner but a fun movie nonetheless. Bradley Cooper plays a military contractor on assignment in Hawaii. He is guided by an Air Force Captain played by Emma Stone. While there he meets up with an old girlfriend played by Rachel McAdams. A fun couple of hours for sure.

Finally, we just saw 'Jurassic World'.




Chris Pratt is everywhere now it seems, we remember him as the brother on the old TV show 'Everwood'. There is a lot of action in this movie, a new dinosaur along with some recurring ones from the three previous movies. Dinosaurs are penned in, dinosaurs get loose, ah you know the plot. Lots of action and an entertaining 2 hours.

Being inside and cool is pretty important right now in the valley of the sun where the 110s are normal.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, June 27, 2015

ALL IN; WEATHERTECH EDITION

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 86 Afternoon Storms High 109) 

We have a tendency that when we jump in we jump in all the way, from Google to Good Sam to others. The latest all in is Weathertech. We had been looking at replacing our carpeted floor liners on our Ford F-350 and were down to choosing between Weathertech and Husky Liners. When Paul and Margery from Living our Dream chose Weathertech and then blogged about it we were closer to choosing. 

By this time we also need a new sun shade. Bob did a lot of research and settled on Weathertech. It is a US company which makes us feel good. What we like about their products is that they are laser measured and customized for each vehicle. Here is the sun shade from the inside.




And from the front. 




What we like about the Weathertech sun shade is that it fits incredibly well and it rolls up and has a velcro strap for easy storage when not using. 

We chose black for the floor liners because most of the time here in Goodyear we are tracking in black dust, probably from the old asphalt. Our old carpet was stained pretty bad in black. We figured that wouldn't show up as bad on the black floor liners. Here is the back seat with the seats up.




With the seats down.




The front seat.




It scares us but Weathertech has many more products to chose from to continue our 'all in' mentality. We purchased the liner cleaner and protector products along with an interior detailer and an interior glass cleaner. We will let you know how they work.

We will leave you with this photo from our park of a blooming saguaro. 




We have seen these before but never with one with so many possible blooms.




Weather wise it was bound to happen and it looks like the rainy season may be upon us as the afternoon forecast calls for thunderstorms. Yeah all we need is humidity in addition to 110 degree days.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, June 25, 2015

RETURNING TO THE HEAT, PART 1

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 84 Partly Sunny High 110) 

We left Pinetop-Lakeside Arizona yesterday and headed back to Goodyear. It was about 80 degrees when we hooked up and left. It was a beautiful drive as we went from 7000 feet down to the valley.

As we got closer we were amazed to see the fountain in Fountain Hills from the highway. This fountain goes off every hour for 15 minutes and hits heights of 560 feet. It is impressive up close and from a distance. Here is a shot from the web that approximates what we saw from the road.



By the time we went through a traffic jam caused by a wreck and then normal I-10 traffic it was 

HOT


It was 108 when we arrived. Bob has had some good backing in success recently but not this time. He just didn't have it, of course when it was 108 he can't do it but when it was 70 it was no problem :-) 

At least there wasn't a big crowd gathered around to watch the spectacle. There might have been if it was cooler. By now it was 99 inside the RV and it took a long time to get it comfortable. We are seriously reconsidering another chapter in the 'Escaping the Heat' saga if this is what we have to look forward to. We have an onboard generator and maybe the only way we escape the heat again is if we run the generator while traveling. What are everybody's thoughts on that?

We have a pain center appointment for Jo today so hopefully we will know more about what she will have done and when.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, June 22, 2015

EXTENDED OUR STAY

Currently in Pinetop-Lakeside AZ (Low 60 Abundant Sunshine High 91) 

Just a brief update that we have extended our stay three nights in the mountains. Although it has been in the 90s here for awhile that is better than the 110s (one day at 115) in the valley. The park wifi has been very intermittent, mostly no service. This morning was good, enough for us to post this.

We are heading back Wednesday for Jo's appointment at the pain center on Thursday.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

ESCAPING THE HEAT, PART 1

Currently in Pinetop-Lakeside AZ (Low 52 Sunshine and Some Clouds High 84) 


With temperatures in the 110+ range in the Phoenix area this week we decided to head up to the Show Low area on Sunday which at 7000' will be 25 to 30 degrees cooler. We are at the Hon-Dah RV Park in Pinetop-Lakeside.




We knew we would be escaping the heat but thought we were going to be in a good Verizon spot based on the coverage maps but we are in a deadzone. So we are escaping the internet and cellphones too. The park has wifi but it is very unreliable. We are at the Library right now using their Wifi. Who knew that a public library would be closed on a Monday. We will resume blogging when we get back to the Phoenix area in a week. Our Bigfoot automatic leveling system had some problems when we tried to setup and it is fun trying to do troubleshooting without a phone or internet.

Here is the weather for us this week.



Here is the weather in Phoenix.



Can you tell why we decided to leave for a few days :-)

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

The formatting on this posting is not our normal formatting since we copied it from another source that we had written offline.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

ALL IN: GOOGLE EDITION AND A BWE WARNING

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 74 Sunny High 98) 

With all the uproar on the Microsoft Livewire issues with Google Blogger and recently the uproar on the changes to Google Maps we figured it was time to update how we are all in when it comes to Google. Our first foray with Google products began a long time ago like a lot of people with Google search on the desktop.




Google is now a verb as you are asked to just google it to find something out. Next we went with GMail.




Both of these were before our smartphone era. During the pre-smartphone era Bob had a Palm Pilot and carried it everywhere with him. When someone mentioned a great place to eat he added it to a Palm docs file. That file got so large he created a file for each state. When the Palm Pilots were placed in the technology graveyard Bob transferred the files to Microsoft Word files and for awhile only existed on the desktop. When we got smartphones they were transferred to Google Docs.




Whenever we wanted to go somewhere we googled it and got directions. Then with smartphones we got turn by turn navigation. With our blogging we used Google Maps for trip info when moving from one spot to another and for the yearly summary of our travels.




We also created a state map for each doc file. Google Maps has probably been our biggest headache though. When you are all in with something you tend to try and stick it out with them. Google has a tendency to just release new versions without much testing it would seem and even a greater lack of understanding what the users need. After a new release there is this great uproar and eventually bug fixes and features they discarded make their way back into Maps but by that time there is a new version and it starts all over again. But we are still using Maps, trying to figure it out.

We use Google Blogger for our blogging but unlike a lot of our fellow bloggers we don't use Livewire we just use the formatting features with Blogger. 




We are old enough that we used IBM Script language, the precursor of HTML, to create documents in the very old days. In fact Bob's Master's Thesis was written with IBM Script. The formatting within blogger isn't great but it is usable. If not we can always switch to html formatting

Finally, we also use Google Calendar.




Our main family calendar is in Microsoft Outlook, a carryover from Bob's working days. The calendar is transferred to Bob's smartphone calendar and then to his Google Calendar and finally to Jo's calendar on her phone so she knows what is going on.

So you can see we are all in when it comes to Google. We still have photos in Yahoo Flickr which we had before and our tasks that Bob maintains are in Outlook but we pretty much have sold our soul to Google. One thing we do like is how Google search has different themes throughout the year. Here is one of our favorites, a Marvel theme.




Finally, the BWE (Baskerville Weather Effect) is in full force. The BWE kicks in when we travel resulting in above normal highs, lows, rain, or 'it never snows that late in the year in Yellowstone', etc. There are two days that have never, ever had rain in the Phoenix area, that is until this year and the BWE. Now there is only one, June 4th never had rain before until we were in the area. The other date is June 11th so we shall see if it is going to be a double bogey today although the forecast is for sunny. We don't "plan" on being here another June 11th so that date is safe.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, June 4, 2015

JUNE HOTTEST MONTH IN PHOENIX AREA

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 73 Mostly Sunny High 101) 

As we embark on a hot June we were surprised to hear on the weather news recently that June is the hottest month here in the valley of the sun.





Every day in June 2014 was 100 degrees or higher and 24 days were 105 degrees or higher, and 2 days were 110 degrees or higher. The hottest day on record in Phoenix, 122, was on June 26, 1990.

We heard a revisision on the classic, "but it's a dry heat", Arizonans say "it's a fry heat" :-)




Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, June 1, 2015

DIDN'T EXPECT THIS

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 72 Sunny High 104)

We knew it was going to be hot while we were still in the Phoenix area for Jo to get her pain center treatments but we did not expect all the bright colors from cactus to plants, shrubs and trees. Here are some examples of photos just recently taken.











Our grapefruit tree, or at least the one right next to our fifth wheel has started the yearly process and here are some grapefruit we will enjoy later in the year.




Well it has begun, after a below normal May with more rain than normal and lower temperatures than normal we are smack dab in the midst of heat, or what they call average temperatures over 100 degrees. We saw an article in the Arizona Republic that you really can't say it's hot until it is over 110 because then everything changes. Luckily we haven't seen that yet but we are certain that is in our future.

Jo goes in for her second procedure on her neck tomorrow with a few more to go. Right now with all of the procedures and the lag between appointments we are thinking we are going to be here for a long time. We are taking a break from the heat in mid-June and heading up to the Show Low area for a week where temps are in the 70s instead of the 100s.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

BLOGGING MILESTONES

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 64 Sunny High 96)

The last posting on our "Day Trip to the Florence Arizona Area" was our 700th blog posting. Our blog started out in January 2008 shortly after Bob retired first detailing our remodeling of our house and continued all through our 5 years and 8 months of living fulltime in our RV and traveling this great country of ours. Here is one of our favorite photos from our travels, this one from Yosemite National Park.




Almost 125,000 hits on a blog from 10 countries that we first started out to let friends and family know what we were up to. It grew as we met new friends in blogland into a history for us to relive our adventures long after we come off the road. Here is our map of states visited while full-timing. We plan to visit the east coast maybe next year.




Other interesting stats; Firefox is the most common browser at 42%. As expected Windows is by far the operating system of choice at 72% with Unix coming in at less than 1%. We use numerous mechanisms to communicate. We have 71 followers on blogspot, 32 subscribers to an email generated by blogspot when a posting is made, almost 100 Facebook friends, and  6 that get an update from our Yahoo Group. Certainly not a big time blog by any means but it amazes us how many pageviews and friends that get notices when we post.

Hope everybody is with us for the next 700 blog postings.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

DAY TRIP TO FLORENCE ARIZONA AREA

Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 64 Partly Sunny High 96)

We recently took a day trip to the Florence Arizona area. Our first stop was the Queen Creek Olive Mill in Queen Creek Arizona.



What started out as a warm getaway from the chilly Detroit winter for a couple in 1997 turned into an empire. While visiting they were surprised to see the number of olive trees in the area. Being of Italian descent and knowing the goodness of olive oil they decided to move to Queen Creek and started out with a few trees as a hobby selling the olive oil locally. That quickly caught on and they added more to the product line in their gift shop and a small cafe. They now supply the Valley and its surrounding cities with farm fresh, local food and of course Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the Queen Creek location and three retail stores across Arizona.

We started off with breakfast and it was really good food from their small cafe. 




Bob got the mushroom omelet and Jo got the peach waffles, sorry no pictures. We then bought some great olives from the gift shop. But we have to go back, the food was excellent and we need to try the homemade gelato and their other desserts looked yummy. We also want to do a tour but we had more things planned so we moved on. We then went to the Pork Shop, a local butcher shop for some excellent sausage that we blogged about earlier here



Then it was off to Florence for the Tom Mix Monument, the sight where Tom Mix was killed in a car wreck.






Then it was off to downtown Florence for a rare urban state park, McFarland State Park. We toured the visitor center and learned that POWs were held in the area.






We walked around downtown Florence, here is the tree planted in the movie "Murphy's Romance". 




A Catholic Church.




We then had some great homemade ice cream. Then it was off to the prison outlet store.




Prisoners create all the artwork and items in the outlet store by hand and some of it is amazing. 




The rest of the story about the prison outlet is that it self funded and employs nearly 2,000 inmates. They produce products for business, institutions, schools, and more in addition to the outlet store. This operation returned over $2 million dollars to Arizona's General Fund last fiscal year and contributed more than $195 million dollars to the Arizona economy. For inmates in the program the repeat offenses rate is reduced by over 30%. The money they earn is kept for them upon their release to help their transition back to society with a marketable skill. Amazing story, amazing products. We bought a roadrunner to place outside. Here is the metal roadrunner that we bought staked out under our grapefruit tree.




On the way back to the park we ate at Rudy's BBQ and Country Store for some incredible Texas brisket.

It was a great day trip. The weather has been cooler than normal here in the Valley of the Sun recently and we are not complaining. But the heat is on its way.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo